In his first three starts for Joe Ross the Nationals have provided him with ample run support, winning by scores of 14-4, 15-12 and 23-5. Poor pitching on his part left him with only one victory. The run support was not as great last night but Ross will take the 10 runs. He also pitched well, allowing just one run in his eight innings of work for a Nationals 10-1 win.
It was an overcast night with the clouds raining drizzle from the first inning to the eighth. During the third through fourth innings the rain came down harder creating small pools of water collecting throughout the infield. The grounds crew came on a couple times to pour dirt into those pools to dry out the infield. When the rain tapered down in the fifth the pools of water failed to reappear.
The Mariners started Christian Bergman. All their normal starters are on the disabled list so the Mariners are going with a new group of five. Bergman pitched decent his first three innings. Anthony Rendon tagged him for a towering homerun near the foul pole in short left field for two runs. When Bergman got to the fourth inning it was a disaster.
The Nationals hit for the cycle in the fourth. Anthony Rendon started the inning with a double into the right centerfield gap. Matt Wieters drove him in with a single. A Michael Taylor single put runners on first and second with no out and pitcher Joe Ross up. Dusty Baker had Joe swinging and he hit a sharp grounder to Jean Segura who turned a double play.
Just as things looked as if they were going good for Bergman, Trea Turner lifted a high drive in right field that could not be caught by Nelson Cruz, who was caught turning the wrong way on the ball. Trea Turner glided around the soggy infield for a triple. Jayson Werth blasted a pitch from Bergman over the left field bleachers for a homerun. Bryce Harper followed by powering a pitch over the 402 marker in right center that banged against the back wall, easily a 450 foot blast. Bergman stayed out there and the assault continued. Ryan Zimmerman and Daniel Murphy hit hard singles. Anthony Rendon lifted one into right center that just carried over the 402 foot mark for his second homer of the day. When the inning was over the Nationals had scored eight runs. The only fear from Nats fans is the rain would continue, the Nationals would not make an out and the game would be called before it reached the fifth inning.
The final out was made and Ross quickly disposed of the Mariners in the top of the fifth. Mike Zunino gave the Mariners their only run by leading off the sixth with a homerun into the left field bleachers. Jean Segura hit a two out single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Ben Gamel drove one into right center but Michael Taylor leaped and caught the ball at the scoreboard to end the inning. The Mariners would threaten no more with Joe Ross striking out the side in his last inning of work, the eighth.
Hats off to Emilio Pagan who came in to start the sixth. He gave up a leadoff single to Michael Taylor, but then retired the next 12 Nationals. With the game out of reach the Mariners saved their pen by having him bat twice and complete the game. His ERA went south to 6.75 while Bergman’s travelled north to 6.30.
Game Notes: Rendon had a chance for his second three homer game of the year in the seventh but popped up to second…Hard to believe the run support for Ross would drop after the Nats scored 10 runs for him. In four games the National bats have scored 62 runs, the most in major league history to start the season according to Elias…This was Robisnson Cano’s first game back from the disabled list. He failed to cover a lot of ground in the second inning on a single by Ryan Zimmerman. Robinson was shading him to pull, playing more up the middle but Zimmerman grounded it to the second base side of the bag.